When it comes to such open-heart reflection, I'm a firm believer in the observer effect, which states that anything you try to observe is automatically changed by the mere fact that you're looking at it. The way I see it, if you try to study your emotions on a microscopic level, the best you can do is understand how it feels to hold the magnifying glass.
You...you lost your faith?" "No...just my convictions. I still very much believe in God- just not a god who condones human tithing." Lev begins to feel himself choking up with an unexpected flood of feeling, all the emotions that had been building up throughout their talk- throughout the weeks- arriving all at once like a sonic boom. "I never knew there was a choice.
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There's a set of unspoken rules we live by when it comes to fighting. We can't help it. It comes from living in a civilized world. Even when you're fighting your hardest, somewhere deep down, you know how far you can go. But today the rules are gone. Today I fight not to win, but to destroy.
It can be said, then, that Everlost is heaven...for the places that deserve a share of forever. Such places are few and far between...The greatest of these stood near Manhattan's southern-most tip: the two gray brothers to the green statue in the bay. The towers had found their heaven...held fast, and held forever by the memories of a mourning world, and by the dignity of the souls who got where they were going on that dark September day.
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What, are you totally psycho?" I shouted. "Maybe I am!" he screamed back at me. "Maybe that's just what I am. Maybe I'm that quiet guy who suddenly goes nuts and then you find half the neighborhood in his freezer." I gotta admit, that one stumped me for a second - but only for a second. "Which half?" I asked. "Huh?" "Which half of the neighborhood? Could you make it the people on the other side of Avenue T, because I never really liked them anyway.
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Don't I have a choice in this?" But when she looks behind her, the answer is clear. There are two guards waiting to make sure that she has no choice at all. And as they lead her away, she thinks of Mr. Durkin. With a bitter laugh, Risa realizes that he may get his wish after all. Someday he may see her hands playing in Carnegie Hall. Unfortunately, the rest of Risa won't be there.
Normally Connor would walk away from a conversation like this. His life is about tangibles: things you can see, hear and touch. God, souls, and all that has always been like a secret in a black box he couldn't see into, so it was easier just to leave it alone. Only now, he's inside the black box.
I was asking if unwinding kills you, or if it leaves you alive somehow. C'mon""it's not like we haven't thought about it." (...) What do you think, Connor?" asks Hayden. "What hap pens to your soul when you get unwound?" Who says I even got one?" For the sake of argument, let's say you do." Who says I want an argument?
In short, there are mysteries of science and of soul that will never be understood no matter how hard we measure, no matter how strongly we believe, no matter how deep our think tanks and how high our aspirations. But as anyone will tell you""for we all know this within our hearts""the impossible happens and grand cosmic mysteries are solved on a regular basis, although most of the time the solutions lead to even greater mysteries.
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So the gods must mean something else, ' said Jix. 'God, not gods!' insisted Johnnie. Nick threw up his hands. 'God, gods, or whatever, ' said Nick. 'Right now, it doesn't matter whether it's Jesus, or Kukulcan, or a dancing bear at the end of the tunnel. What matters is that we have a clue, and we have to figure it out.' 'Why?' Johnnie asked again. 'Why does God - excuse me, I mean 'the Light of Universal Whatever'- why does it just give us a freakin' impossible clue? Why can't it just tell us what we're supposed to do?' 'Because, ' said Mikey. 'the Dancing Bear wants us to suffer.
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Suddenly, Tara's accomplishment was clear. She had lined up allies among the school's various groups and got them all to work together for probably the first time in the school's history. She was like a master builder who could bend materials like stone and steel and clay to her will... except her materials were flesh and spirit.
Don't you recognize me, Mary? It's your good friend Allie the Outcast - although it looks like you're the one who's the out-cast now." Then Allie realized something with far too much glee. "Now that you're here - alive and all - there's something I've wanted to do for a very long time." Then Allie reached back, curled her fleshie's right hand into a fist, and swung it toward Mary with all her might. This was one strong fleshie! The punch connected with Mary's eye so hard, that Mary's entire body spun around, and she collapsed into a leopard chair. Allie's knuckles hurt, but it was a good kind of pain. "My eye!" wailed Mary. "Oh! My eye.
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Your friend Mikey knew what my touch could do, but he didn't tell me. He turned me into a murderer. Worse than a murderer.' 'I think, ' said Nick, 'they call that manslaughter or wrongful death, don't they? I mean, when it's an accident or out of ignorance, or something.' Clarence turned to Nick, studying him with his Everlost eye. 'You're a lot smarter than you were back in the cage, ' Clarence said. 'You look better too. Back then you were a thing, now you're almost a person.' 'Thanks... but 'almost' is still 'almost.'' 'Yeah, well, we're all almost something.
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You can't imagine what it's like to be torn between darkness and light- to be a traitor no matter what move you make. If my grandmother and Marissa died tonight, it would be because I had stayed in the darkness too long, flirting with the idea of being Cedric's consigliere. If that happened, I could never live with myself- but if Cedric gave me the bite as he planned, I would be forced to live with it forever. That was the worst hell I could imagine.
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The fear of not living is a deep, abiding dread of watching your own potential decompose into irredeemable disappointment when 'should be' gets crushed by what is. Sometimes I think it would be easier to die than to face that, because 'what could have been' is much more highly regarded than 'what should have been.' Dead kids are put on pedestals, but mentally ill kids get hidden under the rug.
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The accountant lingers at his children's doorway a moment more, listening to the easy rhythm of their breathing, and something cold moves through him, like the passage of a ghost - but he know that's not it. It's more like the portent of a future. A future that must never come to pass... and for the first time, he gives rise to a thought that is silently echoed in millions of homes that night. My God... what have we done?
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His existence had always been comfortable, he had always held a clear picture of himself, his duties, and his place in a world. He saw that world as a place so full of turning gears he had no hope of comprehending how things fit together, so why even try? Now things were different, however. Now he wasn't just looking out from inside of the clockwork. Instead, he was actually seeing the final motion of the escapement-the ticking hands of the clock itself. And it was a doomsday clock. Both his feline and human instincts told him to let it be. It was not his problem, or his place to interfere. If the living world was destined to fall, let it happen, let it pass into history once and for all. Who was he to try to save it? But on the other hand, if the living world were lost, then there would never again be great cats to furjack... and couldn't it be that hearing the actual ticking of the clock gave one the responsibility to stop it?
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How easy is murder when one calls it by a different name? How much easier is it for the conscience to condone 'reaping' than 'killing'-and when one knows that death isn't the end, does it stop the killing hand for fear of retribution, or does it simply make it easier to kill, because, if life continues, how can murder be murder at all?
I always hear people talk about 'dysfunctional families.' It annoys me, because it makes you think that somewhere there's this magical family where everyone gets along, and no one ever screams things they don't mean, and there's never a time when sharp objects should be hidden. Well, I'm sorry, but that family doesn't exist. And if you find some neighbors that seem to be the grinning model of 'function, ' trust me - that's the family that will get arrested for smuggling arms in their SUV between soccer games. The best you can really hope for is a family where everyone's problems, big and small, work together. Kind of like an orchestra where every instrument is out of tune, in exactly the same way, so you don't really notice.
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Our conversation with the supermarket manager had been about as helpful as a New Jersey road sign, and if you've ever been there, you know the signs don't tell you the exit you're coming up to, they only point out the exits you've just missed. It puts parents in very foul moods-and since you're probably there to visit relatives, their mood was pretty touch and go to begin with.
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They meet in the girls' bathroom. The last time they were forced to meet in a place like this, they took separate, isolated stalls. Now they share one. They hold each other in the tight space, making no excuses for it. There's no time left in their lives for games, or for awkwardness, or for pretending they don't care about each others, and so they kiss as if they've done it forever. As if it is as crucial as the need for oxygen.
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If someone had told Allie that she would commit a premeditated act of murder, she would not have believed it. She would have spouted off all the reasons how she could never be capable of such a thing-that no matter how dire the circumstances, she would find a better way. She was so naive, so arrogant to think that the laws of necessity and unthinkable circumstance could not apply to her. She could tell herself that this was an act of mercy, but that would be a lie. This was an act of war. An act of terrorism. It was nothing less than an assassination. If I do this, Allie told herself, I am no better than Mary. I will have sunk to the worst possible place a person can go. After this moment, I will be a cold-blooded killer and it can never be taken back. So the question was, did Allie Johnson have the strength to sacrifice all that was left of her innocence if it meant she might save the world?
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I came running down the stairs that morning, like it was Christmas. My parents were already up. In my family, presents never waited; they were there upon waking. Our family has a problem with what they called delayed gratification. We want what we want when we want it, and we always want it now.
When I touched that boy, I felt something. Something awful. Something I can't describe.' 'We all felt it, ' Nick said. 'You may have felt it, but I caused it.' Then both his eyes seemed to go far away. 'Something changed out there. I don't know what it was, but something in the world changed because that kid didn't deserve what I did to him-and the powers that be know that I did it.' Nick watched as a tear fell from his Everlost eye and disappeared through the living world table. 'What if, ' said Nick, not even sure what he was going to say yet, 'what if you were that kid and you were told you could change the world, but you would have to sacrifice yourself to do it?' Clarence chuckled at the thought. 'I believe that question was already asked a long time ago, and that creepy kid did not look anything like Jesus to me.' 'But you do think that something changed... ' 'I don't know whether it's good or bad.' 'What if it's neither?' suggested Nick. 'What if we get to make it one or the other?
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